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Park AFM Modes and Techniques

Park AFM Nanomechanical Mode

PinPoint™ Nanomechanical Mode



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PinPoint™ Nanomechanical mode obtains the best of resolution and accuracy for nanomechanical characterization. Stiffness, elastic modulus, adhesion forces are acquired simultaneously in real-time. While the XY scanner stops, the high speed force-distance curves are taken with well-defined control of contact force and contact time between the tip and the sample. Due to controllable data acquisition time, PinPoint™ Nanomechanical mode allows optimized nanomechanical measurement with high signal-to-noise ratio over various sample surfaces.

Read more about accurate Nanomechanical Imaging via PinPoint here

Video: Characterizing Multicomponent Polymer with PinPoint™ AFM





[Adhesion force]





PS-b-PEO (Polystylene-b-polyethylene oxide)
Scan size: 10µm

Force-Distance Spectroscopy

Force Measurement of Tip-Sample Interaction


Force-Distance (F-d) curves is a spectroscopy technique measuring the vertical interaction between the tip and the sample surface while extending and retracting a Z scanner. Function of a cantilever deflection versus the extension of the piezoelectric scanner is he direct measurement of tip-sample interaction forces reflecting a mechanical property of surface.

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The various elastic properties that can be measured from Force vs. Distance curves.

Polymer on glass
Scan size: 10µm
Using Probe: NSC26CNSC36C
Imaged on a Park XE-Series using F-D Spectroscopy mode.

Force Volume Imaging

Force Measurement of Tip-Sample Interaction

Force volume imaging provides a detailed map of the sample’s material properties by plotting parameters such as stiffness, cantilever snap-in, and adhesion. Parameters extracted from Force Distance (F-D) spectroscopy curves are put into a matrix that quickly and easily allows researchers to gain insights about samples properties.

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Polymer on glass
Scan size: 10µm
Using Probe: NSC36C
Imaged on a Park XE-Series using Force-Distance spectroscopy mode.

Force Modulation Microscopy (FMM)


Force Amplitude and Phase Imaging of Sample Elasticity

Our FMM mode measures mechanical property variations over a sample’s surface. An AC modulation is applied to the cantilever while in contact with the sample surface, allowing you to monitor changes in amplitude and phase and gain insights into qualitative elastic and viscous responses.

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[Topography]/[FMM Phase]

Crystal Facetts
Scan size: 10µm
Using Probe: NSC36C
Imaged on a Park XE series using FMM.

Lateral Force Microscopy (LFM)


Mapping of the Frictional Force

Park AFMs are not only capable of detecting cantilever deflections in the vertical direction, but also the lateral, producing a lateral force microscopy image.

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[Topography] / [LFM Image (Left to Right)] / [LFM Image (Right to Left)]

Polymer on Silicon
Scan size: 2µm
Using Probe: NSC36C
Imaged on a Park XE-Series using LFM Mode.



Advanced Vector Nanolithography Using Closed Loop Scan System

The Nanolithography mode allows you to manipulate and create patterning on the sample surface through applied force or voltage. Tip position for lithography can be easily controlled by importing your own vector drawings or raster (bitmap) images.

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Pattern created on the surface by plowing the surface with the tip (a) and by changing the surface with applied bias (b)


Vector Nanolithography. The image is generated in vector by applying negative voltage between -5 and -10 V. Scanning rate was varied between 1 and 0.1 µm/s. The height of deposited oxide is about 2-4 nm.

Scan size: 4.5µm
Using Probe: Contsc Pt
Imaged on a Park AFM using Smartlitho mode.



Our nanoindentation mode uses excessive force on the cantilever to indent the sample and measure its mechanical properties including hardness and elasticity.

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NanoIndentation measures the hardness of a local region by pressing the indenter tip Into a sample.

Scan size: 5µm
Using Probe: Diamond indentor probe
Imaged on a Park XE-Series using Nanoindentation Mode.

Spring Constant Calibration by Thermal Method

Maintaining the proper spring calibration is critical for AFM force data accuracy. That’s why Park provides spring calibration using the thermal method, giving you accurate readings every time.


Park AFM Modes | Nanomechanical Modes